Anu Kumar wins men’s 800m at Asian Junior Athletics Championships

AFI Media
09 July 2018

Gifu, Japan. Indian athletes continued their medal run on the third day of the 2018 Junior Asian Athletics Championships winning a gold medal and two bronze medals in Gifu (Japan) on Saturday. With a single day of competition remaining, Indian athletes have already won three gold medals, one silver and nine bronze medals.

India won their third gold of the competition in the men’s 800m through Anu Kumar. Uttarakhand based middle distance runner Anu,who trains at the sports college Raipur, clocked 1:54.11 seconds to get the better of Iran’s Abdolrahim Dorzadeh who clocked 1:54.23 seconds. The third step on the podium was claimed by Japan’s Fuki Torii who clocked a time of 1:54.55 seconds.

The gold was only the latest achievement for Kumar who is one of the brightest prospects in middle distance running in India. He had earlier won a silver medal in the 800m at the World School Games in France. He had been coming into the tournament on the back of a strong performance, clocking 1:50.60 seconds to take gold at the Junior Federation Cup in April this year. Although he didn’t come near that mark at the Gifu Nagaragawa Stadium, there would be few complaints as he remained clear of the field.

While Kumar won gold much as he was expected to, there was a sense of relief for sprinter Gurvinder Singh who managed to secure a bronze medal in the men’s 4x100m relay. Singh had been expected to do well in the men’s 100m, having entered the competition not long after he had broken the junior national record with a time of 10.47 seconds. In Gifu, though he had faltered, clocking only 11.09 seconds to crash out in the heats itself.  . In the relay though, Singh and the rest of the Indian team — Prajwal Mandanna Kakera Ravi, Akash Kumar and Nitin Balakumar clocked a time of 40.75 seconds to claim a medal behind winners Japan (39.65 seconds) and Chinese Taipei (39.72 seconds)

The final Indian medal of the day came from Arpandeep Kaur Bajwa in the women’s discus throw. The Amritsar based athlete threw the iron disc a distance of 46.57m to take bronze behind the Chinese pair of Yuanyuan Yin and Huanhuan Yang who recorded throws of 51.17m and 51.53m respectively. Arpandeep started off strongly, and was in second place after her first attempt of 46.57m but was overtaken by Yuanyuan in the second series of throws. The Indian athlete, who had recorded a throw of 49.56m at the Junior Federation Cup in April, was not able to improve on her first throw of the competition and eventually settled for the third spot.

There would be disappointment for the remaining athletes. Durga Pramod Deore, who had won a bronze in the women’s 1500m could only finish fifth in the women’s 800m with a time of 2:12.82 seconds, well behind the gold medal mark of 2:04.14 clocked by Japan’s Ayaka Kawata. Deepanshi Singh, who won gold in the junior federation Cup with a jump of 5.89m also fell short of that mark, clearing 5.66m to finish seventh in the long jump competition at Gifu.